Though initially social networks, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Twitter, were designed to let people freely communicate with each other; today media has grown into a powerful marketing tool.

E-commerce brands use social networks for two main purposes: to promote the brand and to sell. The former implies getting closer to customers, engaging them, creating outstanding experiences, and building trust. Such activity leads to higher sales in the long run. The latter is more about selling right now by showcasing the product portfolio and dealing with customer reviews. Both types of actions bring results if a company strikes the balance between selling and respecting the unspoken rules of social networks. And it is time to learn to do it right as, according to the stats, the future of the social media and e-commerce combo is bright.

The duo of social networks and e-commerce in figures

Customers got used to retailers’ presence in social networks. A consumer survey by Statista revealed that over 30% of U.S. internet users connect with brands via social media to find out about products and services. Apart from this, customers browse corporate media accounts in search of discounts and coupons and to support their favorite brands.

A generational study by KPMG spotted one more popular reason for the increasing popularity of retailers’ social network accounts – that is posting and reviewing product feedback. Just imagine, 55% of people buy products only after social media discovery (Forbes). That is a huge impact on sales if a company keeps an on their social media accounts.

Well, let’s go on. Though only 18% of internet users have purchased an item directly via social media, 42% percent of shoppers said that social media influenced their purchase decisions. Shoppers evaluate what other people say about retailers and their products, how merchants react to other customers’ complaints and problems. They put themselves into the shoes of other customers and decide to buy or not.

Summing it up, social media is no longer just a touchpoint; it is a decision making factor for customers and a crucial means of promotion and selling for merchants.

Social media and Magento web store brought together

As the stats show, merchants can use social media to:

  • engage customers;
  • promote and advertise products;
  • deal with customers’ feedback.

All these will take creating a corporate page in social networks and continuously monitoring the activity on it. Well, and why not go one step further and integrate your Magento store with your social media accounts?

To make the idea more transparent, let’s take Facebook as an example. Facebook ranked first in terms of e-commerce referral traffic. So this is definitely the network to start with if you are eager to sell more via social media.

Strategy #1. Bring Facebook to your web store with reviews

As said above, customers look up reviews in social networks before making a purchase. By the way, Facebook is the number one source with around 30% (the figure varies by generation) of shoppers consulting it (KPMG). Logically, after you caught a customer with a landing page, got them interested with content, and they are about to purchase but… they leave your store to explore reviews. This is the point when you can lose them if they bump into other similar offerings.

The solution is to incorporate Facebook reviews (or comments) into your product page. This way you will let users check what other people say about an item without leaving your web store. Actually, if you run a Magento store, such enhancement can cost you as much as nothing. There are several extensions available for free on the market, like this one. Just download and start using.

Strategy #2. Bring your web store to Facebook

Let’s return to stats. According to BigCommerce, 20% of online shoppers say they are likely to make a purchase from Facebook. Out of that 20%, there are more men than women (23% vs. 17%), and more Millennials (51%) than Gen Xers (36%), Baby Boomers (14%), or Seniors (3%).

Well, 20% is not bad for an additional sales channel. If you recognized your target customers in the figures above, then you should definitely give Facebook Product Catalog a try.

You can use your Facebook catalog to display products, advertise them to relevant customers, tag products on Instagram, and more. What’s important, you will have to upload data feeds with your web store inventory data to Facebook and update this info regularly to prevent inconsistencies. Facebook integrates well with Magento, so there shouldn’t be any problems. Though you can upload feeds manually, automation will save you a lot of time and help avoid inaccurate product info.

Therefore, consider some sort of feed generation tool, like this Facebook Feed module or similar. Feed generators allow uploading products to Facebook in bulk instead of handling them individually. In addition, this one a cron option, which means that after you define the conditions (store view, price type, file format, etc.) and choose the date and frequency of updates, the extension will do the job self-actingly.

Bottom line

Today, merchants can use social media for diverse purposes: to get new customers and reward loyal ones, to promote the brand and sell products. As Facebook is the leading social network when it comes to making a purchase decision, it makes sense to shorten the distance between it and your web store by adding Facebook comments to products pages and enabling automatic Facebook Catalog updates.

About the author

As an Amasty author, Darya researches into tech trends . She shares insights and ideas through business posts on the blog.